Wolfreton School teachers to appear in French court after Jessica Lawson drowning in Maury Park in 2015
The three teachers who presided over a school trip to France in which a young schoolgirl drowned will be tried in a French court six years after her death.
Jessica Lawson, then 12, was a pupil at Wolfreton School in Hull when she drowned in a lake on 21 July 2015 during a five-day school trip to France.
The kids had been given the green light by the teachers to swim in the Maury Park in Liginiac, which had a floating orange pontoon that they jumped off.
More than 20 children had climbed onto the plastic platform, which was designed for less than half that number when it collapsed, tipping over and hitting Jessica on the head.
While most students were quickly plucked from the water by a lifeguard, Jessica is said to have been in the water for up to 20 minutes before rescuers went into the lake to drag her out.
She was flown to a hospital in Limoges, but died the next day before her distraught parents, Tony and Brenda, could arrive after taking off on the first available plane.
Jessica Lawson (12) was a student at Wolfreton School in Hull when she drowned in a lake in July 2015 during a five-day school trip to France.
The French authorities have completed their investigation and a hearing will be held that will finally answer the family’s questions six years later.
The lifeguard and three of the trip’s teachers are all expected to travel to France to answer questions about the decision to let the children in the water that day.
A judicial inquiry is also expected to be held in Yorkshire following the findings of the French court.
24 pupils and three teachers from Hull School were on the six-day adventure holiday.
The lifeguard and three of the teachers from the trip to Maury Park in Liginiac (pictured) are all expected to be questioned about the day’s events in a French court
More than 20 children had climbed onto the orange plastic platform, which was designed for less than half that number when it collapsed, turning around and hitting Jessica on the head.
All children traveling were required to be able to swim 50 meters unassisted, headteacher David McCready said, although a letter to parents said they “don’t have to be technically sane or regular swimmers.”
This week marks six years since Jessica died and the Lawsons waved goodbye to their daughter on a school trip from which she never returned.
During that time, the family, which established the Jessica Lawson Foundation in the wake of her death, has asked for transparency and support from the East Riding Council about what happened that day.
Monday, marking the anniversary of the trip’s departure, Brenda wrote on the foundation’s Facebook page: “Today it was six years since Jess got on the bus from Wolfreton School and we waved her goodbye.
“She was constantly messaging me during the trip. She informed me where the carriage had stopped and what she had eaten.
The movies she’d seen on the bus and the delay in boarding the ferry.
‘Her message to me when she arrived in France and how bad the French breakfast at the gas station was!!! She opted for a cookie instead.
Well-wishers leave tributes at Wolfreton School, Hull after hearing news that former pupil Jessica Lawson had drowned in 2015
While most students were quickly plucked from the water by a lifeguard, Jessica is said to have been in the water for up to 20 minutes before rescuers dragged her out.
‘She finally arrived at the accommodation. She said, “It’s beautiful”.
‘Mama said, ‘Relax and enjoy. Keep it up, tomorrow the fun starts.”
“In just over 48 hours from that point, Jess would be allowed to go into an open water lake where she would drown.
‘Why? Why? Why? We’ve asked that question time and again. One day we will find out the answers.
An East Riding Council spokesperson said: ‘It is with regret that almost six years after Jessica’s death, we are still unable to comment due to the ongoing judicial process in France.
“However, our thoughts are with Jessica’s family and all those affected by this tragic event at this time.”
Wolfreton School was approached for comment.